MANY A SLIP (1927)
aka The Inventor Bricolo
Article 4771 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Charles R. Bowers and Harold L. Muller
Featuring Charles R. Bowers, Corinne Powers, Ricca Allen
What it is: Partially animated comedy
An inventor attempts to create a formula that will make banana peels non-slippery.
Charles R. Bowers is one of the more obscure comedians of the silent era, but he’s one of the more interesting and offbeat ones. His most striking quality is that he dabbled in both slapstick comedy and stop-motion animation, sometimes in the same short. In this one, for example, Bowers studies a banana peel under a huge microscope and discovers a bizarre little stop-motion creature that makes the peel slippery. Part of the short involves the repetition of a single gag (there are a lot of people slipping on banana peels); the rest of the short concentrates on gags involving Bower’s bizarre laboratory. There’s something positively surreal about Bower’s work, and some of the gags quite weird. Still, I have a real weak spot for this type of thing, and I thoroughly enjoyed this little short, and I’m really glad to finally be able to cover one of his works.